Educator or hypocrite

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Jason Hautala RN Jason Hautala RN 1 year, 7 months ago.

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    I often find myself being cautious when educating patients on healthy diets and habits because I am not the most physically fit nor do I have the cleanest diet. I understand my role in educating my patients on proper diet to aid in healing, or overall health. However, does this make me a hypocrite because I am not doing some of the habits I am asking them to do, or am I simply just doing my job? With that do you think patients are listening to a nurse tell them how to eat and be healthy when they are not following suit?


    You say hypocrite as if it were something bad. It is our job to teach the patient the healthiest lifestyle choices we can and the results of not following those instructions. Haven’t checked recently, but last time I looked, the career with the highest percentage of smokers was respiratory therapy, followed closely by nursing. Of course smoking nurses should tell their patients of the dangers of smoking, to do otherwise would be nearly criminal.

    Profile photo of marinette

    Although it is ideal that we are examples of the patient education, it is primarily our job to present facts or informations to the patients so they can make their decisions in their best interest. Last time I check, it’s our job to help them do just that. Our private lives is not a patient’s business.

    Profile photo of Jennster

    I can give you a glimpse of what patients may think from my observation in clinics between an overweight doctor and an overweight patient. I don’t know if you’re overweight, but this doctor was. The particular topic was healthy eating, and weight loss, so it’s very similar to what you’re talking about.
    One time an overweight doctor was advising a patient in a clinic setting all about how to eat healthily, and lose weight: do this, do that., and so on. He was very enthusiastic and discussed the topic at length..
    All the while, my thoughts while silently observing the conversation was, “How can this patient take the doctor seriously when he so obviously struggles with his own weight and clearly does not eat well?”
    Then the doctor left the room. The patient immediately looked at me and started discussing with me, the very same thoughts I was having. She did not take that doctor seriously at all. When the doctor returned the patient politely acted as if she was taking his advice; I knew she was not going to. She told me she was going to try Weight Watchers.
    What he said to her was just words. He was not an example of weight loss success, or healthy eating, so I doubt she would have modeled herself after him.
    That said, I guess if they are highly motivated to eat well they may still take your advice. But, I suppose you could use this as a motivator to eating well yourself, if you wish!

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